Expanding Dimensions of Diversity into Biological Areas: Human Diversity Based on Style Differences in Leaning, Teaching and Working

Prof. Barbara Prashnig,
Ms Mary Brell
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This new aspect of Diversity is based on biological differences as measured by our on-line assessment instruments LSA, TSA and WSA. Work over the past ten years with these instruments has revealed an interesting but unsettling fact: beliefs, values, attitudes, as well as religious and social aspects of a person can change, often dramatically; but like race and skin colour, biological style features cannot be changed. They change with age, they can be conditioned or learned, can become more flexible but cannot be influenced or changed at will. Particularly under severe pressure human beings tend to fall back on their core style features (=comfort zone) even when they are not useful in an adverse situation. The one-fits-all approach does not suffice any longer, and yet, traditional teaching and training methods are still being widely used, mostly in high schools but also extensively in higher education institutions and often in corporate training. This can lead to school failure, learning difficulties, poor memory, lack of concentration, stress, and job dissatisfaction. When teachers, trainers and managers accept that people have profoundly different styles in the area of information intake, be it in learning or work situations, they will be better positioned to draw out the best in people; this ultimately results in improved performance and less stress. Knowledge of learning, teaching, training and working styles is essential for fully understanding human diversity and how it is the basis for high job performance and school success.

Keywords: Learning Styles, Educators, Traditional Teaching, Biological Style Differences, Underachievement, School Failure, Style Diversity, False Beliefs about Learning and Teaching
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Prof. Barbara Prashnig

CEO, Training and Research, Creative Learning Systems (CLS)
New Zealand

A native Austrian, Barbara migrated to NZ with her family in 1985, lives in Auckland with her husband, who is teaching at Manukau Institute of Technology, and has a 30-year-old daughter who used to be an underachiever in high school. Barbara was a teacher/trainer for 17 years in her home country, has a double MA degree in Educational Sciences and English from an Austrian university; taught at primary schools, high schools, and as the youngest professor in Austria, at a Teacher Training College for seven years. She is certified by the University of Houston, Texas, in accelerated learning and teaching methods, studied Suggestopedia with Dr Georgi Lozanov from Bulgaria, and was trained in Learning Styles and Individualised Instruction at St. John's University, New York. Barbara taught Linguistics at Auckland University, NZ, for five years, before founding Creative Learning Company in 1992. Through her company, Barbara has developed revolutionary software for assessment instruments on- and off-line, which are now available in seven languages. She is introducing her pioneering concept of style differences in learning, teaching and working into schools, businesses and organisations not only in NZ but also around the world: from Sweden to China, from Australia to Finland, to Canada and the UK. Since the publication of her second book she has become a sought-after international presenter and consultant to business organisations and education institutions.

Ms Mary Brell

MD, Training and Development, Keys to Success

Ref: D05P0246